by Alan McSpestos
I first met the universe the day I was born, although the universe was infinitely more acquainted with me by that point, possibly literally. It was a harsh, yet nurturing environment for a young Glaswegian boy. It could be cold, it could be grim, but it provided bounty aplenty for those who knew where to look. At that point, we thought the universe was simply our home, a vector in which we come together for a brief moment of time, a collection of cells, and experience it.
But recent research from the Physics Department at Nyquist-Mirra University, Rochester, suggests an altogether different universe. This universe is one which is alive, one which is conscious, one which is an entity of sentience and intelligence. Their researchers discovered a code hidden in the depths of the cosmic background microwave radiation. Initially believed to be an aberration from around the time of the big bang, it was very quickly decoded into what we know as binary – and that binary translated to what we know as English. The message was simply this; “Hello, I am the universe.”
Since then the team at Nyquist-Mirra have spared no expense of funds or effort as they have built the first medium of communication between the Universe and us, the Sagan Space Telescope and Communications Array – The SSTCA. It is a direct line between humanity and the universe, and we were among the first to use it. Here is a transcript of our interview.
A: Hello Universe
U: Hello Alan, I hope you are well today.
A: Aye, I’m alright. How are you?
U: Oh, you know, Universing along.
A: As you are well aware, I am not here for idle chit chat, you are everything to all people and there are important questions to be asked. Some of them may be quite personal, are you okay with that?
U: Oh, sure, yeah, no problems.
A: Okay, well my first question will be the winner of our poll. We asked our entire audience what question they would like to ask the universe and the number one answer was “Universe McUniverseface” but that’s not really a question, second most popular is “If you could be any kind of biscuit, what kind of biscuit would you be?”
U: Hmm, that’s an interesting one. Funnily enough in around 14 billion years existence I’ve never really thought about it. I mean, it’s trivial really, isn’t it? All biscuits are biscuits only for a dream to me, a blink, a sneeze, a synapse. In the time it takes me to get out of bed civilisations rise and fall. Everything is nothing to you as nothing is everything to me. In that regard I would have to say either a Vnumplijuhg biscuit from Ghentrytheon VIII or possibly just a good old bourbon.
A: Thank you. And thanks to all our kind supporters who voted to ensure that that question was asked. Now, as you have mentioned, you are well over ten billion years old. How exactly do you stay looking so young?
U: Young, what is young? What is youth? I am the eternal, that which never came to be, but always was. I am as old as anything can ever be and as young as I will ever be simultaneously. So, that, exercise, and Vinea Day/Night Créme available for £14.99 at your local Boots.
A: Really, Vinea creams, okay. Well, I am sorry to have to breach such a personal topic but with an increasing waistband in the western world, growing levels of obesity in children and adults alike, we are aware of your constant expansion. Do you have a weight problem, and do you think you are setting a good example by insisting on constantly expanding?
U: I don’t think people look at me and say “My the universe is infinitely harsh and beautiful at the same time, what divine sadness, look at how it expands and expands, I must be like the universe.” That’s a naive oversimplification of our relationship. I think what needs to be recognised is that I am all. I am one and everyone. Your mass is my mass is constant mass. Matter does not simply come to be, it was always there. I am the same weight I have always been, but I am larger, like that short fat kid who puts on a spurt and grows up tall and skinny. Not that it means aught anyway, weight is relative. You say people on your planet have a weight problem, simply move them to one with lower gravity and your problem is solved. Mass is different, and one cannot bemoan people gaining mass, or else the tall are as bad as the fat. What trivial problems you all have.
A: I wouldn’t say it was trivial it puts tremendous pressure on our health services.
U: And sports injuries don’t? How many people per day are admitted to hospitals for injuries or problems related to losing weight? Besides, it’s not trivial for those reasons it’s trivial because you are trivial. You’re meaningless, a chance happenstance that allows my matter to experience itself subjectively. You last a brief flash, then you vanish to the void and all memories and experience with it, eventually all humanity will succumb to the pressures of the universe and will cease to exist. Your foolish attempts to assist the so-called obesity crisis are just filler to make you feel important when you aren’t. I should know, I’m the universe, I have seen all you have done and most of it has been trivial.
A: Only most of it? So what of humanity’s actions have not been trivial?
U: Well there was that fellow, from Nazareth. He was pretty decent, a bit weird and I didn’t like it much when he lost his temper and said he’d be coming back with swords.
A: Jesus? What didn’t you like about his swordy return?
U: Well he was just a bit of a pansy, wasn’t he, really? I mean, all credit to him he put on his best tough guy act, but he’d get messed up.
A: What else do you think is important?
U: I quite like the pyramids, they’re good. Stone Cold Steve Austin is, of course, universally popular. I was watching a planet ripped apart by a supernova explosion just last week and saw ‘Austin 3:16’ signs. Actually, come to think of it, that might have been Earth in the future. I’m not sure.
A: Are you saying sometime in the near future the Earth will be destroyed by a supernova?
U: Quite possibly, yes. But I can’t be sure. You all look alike to me, little blue-green marbles covered in parasites.
A: Well, is it Earth or not. We need to know?
U: Why? You could try to escape but entropy will just catch you in the end. It’s pointless, Alan.
A: Aye, I suppose you’re right. I mean, supernova explosion? What’s that, just sounds like a quiet night out in Glasgow.
U: Exactly, Alan. Your existence is a futile mistake that occurs for a too-brief period of time, is nothing but confusing until it ends and everything makes sense because your default state is dead.
A: Well, there you have it folks, the universe. Bloated and proud, a mad pseudo-philosopher who thinks he’s so bloody big because he is. Join us next week for an interview with a goldfish that’s seen some things, and I am sure we will have more to come from the Universe.